Ellen Alice Terry

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Terry, Ellen Alice


Born Feb. 27,1847, in Coventry, Warwickshire; died July 21, 1928, in Small Hythe, near the city of Tenterden, Kent. British actress.

Terry came from a family of actors and first appeared on the stage at the age of nine. She toured the country from 1859 to 1863 and in 1867–68. From 1878 to 1902 she was the leading actress at the Lyceum Theatre, which was managed by H. Irving, with whom she appeared regularly until 1898. Terry’s art was democratic and sincere and was imbued with love of mankind. She played Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet; Marguerite in Goethe’s Faust; Olivia in W. G. Wills’ Olivia, an adaptation of Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield; and Portia, Viola, and Beatrice in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, and Much Ado About Nothing. She was the manager of the Imperial Theatre in 1902–03, where she staged, jointly with her son, E. G. Craig, Much Ado About Nothing and Ibsen’s The Vikings at Helgeland, with herself as Hiordis. She appeared in 1906 at the Court Theatre as Lady Cecily Waynflete in Captain Brassbound’s Conversion, which G. B. Shaw had written for her.

From 1910 to 1915, Terry toured Great Britain, the USA, and Australia, lecturing on Shakespeare and illustrating the lectures with performances of excerpts from his plays. Her sisters Kate Terry (1844–1924), Florence Terry (1854–96), and Marion Terry (1856–1930) and her brother Fred Terry (1863–1933) were also actors.


The Story of My Life. London, 1908.
Ellen Terry and Bernard Shaw: A Correspondence. New York, 1931.
In Russian translation:
Istoriia moiei zhizni. Leningrad-Moscow, 1963.


Craig, E. G. Ellen Terry and Her Secret Self. London, 1931.
Manvell, R. Ellen Terry. London, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.